Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1.   HiSET Blast


HiSET® Program eUpdate | December 2014


Social Studies and Writing Webinars

ETS HiSET Social Studies-20141212 1906-1


ETS HiSET Writing-20141215 1436-1

Please note:  Passing score for HiSET essay continues to be 2 for 2015.


Writing Samples

Click here to peruse scored sample essays.

Portal Enhancements

HiSET Host wants to share this WebEx recording with you.

Message from host: Please share this webinar with your test centers. The webinar includes information on portal enhancements taking effect on December 29th, 2014, all of which was shared at the conference.

ETS HiSET Portal Enhancements 2014-20141215 1612-1
Monday, December 15, 2014
11:28 am | Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)


The HiSET® program would like to extend warm holiday wishes to everyone during this special time of year. This has been our first full year of testing and we are excited about all we were able to accomplish — in providing a more affordable and accessible option to states. We owe our success to all of the states, territories and tribal nations that have chosen to adopt the HiSET exam. We definitely couldn't have done it without your feedback and support. We are eager to build upon the success of 2014, as we move into 2015. We look forward to working with our existing clients and with new states seeking alternatives to high school equivalency. Happy holidays and a prosperous new year!

Test Center Reminders

Holiday Hours:

It's the holiday season and many of us are taking vacations after a busy year! If you are unable to reach your normal Test Administrative Services representative, please remember to email so that another representative can assist you. ETS has coverage in place for anyone out on vacation and we will be able to serve you quickly in the event your representative is taking some time off for the holidays. You can also call Test Administrative Services (TAS) at 1-800-257-5123 and you will be directed to an available representative. ETS will be closed on December 24–26, 2014, for the holidays, as well as January 1–2, 2015, for the New Year's holiday.

System Maintenance:

ETS will be undergoing system maintenance on Sunday, January 4, 2015. Registration, scheduling and testing will be unavailable on this day. Centers will receive a separate communication regarding opening up on Monday, January 5, 2015, as some action will be required when you reboot your machines.

For PBT Centers:

If you have any questions about your 2015 materials orders, please feel free to reach out to TAS at 1-800-257-5123. If you find that you have received more materials than you expected, please return those materials using the 2014 materials return instructions. A quick reminder — any used and unused materials from 2014 should be returned at the end of your testing year.

HiSET® Practice Test Options:

There are three HiSET Practice Test options available for order and download. The 2014 Paid Practice Tests (PPT) and the 2014 Free Online Practice Tests (FPT) can still be used for preparation throughout 2015. We have added the Official Practice Test for state directors, educators and administrators to use as pretests.

Answer sheets for the PPTs and FPTs are available on the HiSET Download Library. They can be photocopied and reused as many times as necessary. By March 2015, we will add more practice tests that are comprised of released operational items.

The 2015 Official Practice Tests (OPTs) are:

  • New for 2015
  • Paper books
  • $10 each, plus a $5.50 flat shipping fee
  • Contain an answer sheet, answer key and score ranges
  • Order form is ORANGE
  • Restricted to state directors and HiSET test administrators ONLY
  • Can be purchased with purchase orders
  • Available in English and Spanish

* Note: Orders for OPTs will be delayed. The scoring scales are currently being reviewed to align with the HiSET exam.

The 2014 PPTs are:

  • PDFs
  • $7.50
  • Can be photocopied and reused
  • Contain answer key and score ranges
  • Available for public use
  • Order Form is YELLOW
  • Spanish forms are available on separate order form

The 2014 FPTs are:

  • Available for download directly from the website
  • PDFs
  • Spanish Practice Tests are located in the Spanish version of the website

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:




Montana HSE Information:  January

Montana HiSET PSA Template 1/14/15: 

The PSA templates that were requested of HiSET have arrived.

Click here for HiSET PSA template.  This is offered as examples that can  be rewritten, or edited, at your discretion. 


Montana HiSET Resources

Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

Remember:  Some of the resources have been teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created or found any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

HiSET Success:  Montana

Do you have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out Posting #3.

3.   Montana Math Webinar

Welcome to the Montana Math Webinars!

The introductory webinar will be:

Wednesday, January 21 at 11:05 a.m.  OR   Thursday, January 22 at 12:05 p.m.  The introductory webinar should last 15 minutes.  We are testing the equipment and software.

If these times do not work for you, the webinars will be archived.  The links to the archived webinars will be emailed to the group.

Click here for more information and resources. 

4.   Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here for MT_ABE_Regional_Mtgs_ Labor_Market_Information_Nov_2014.

Click here for Montana Job Projections 2012-2022.

Click here for Montana Job Projections Spreadsheet.

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

5.   WIOA Update:  WIOA Timeline

WIOA Montana Updates:

1/9/15:  WIOA Regulations

The document below announces the regulations for WIOA will not be released in January. A spring release is now the target date. OCTAE has not released any statements on the impact on our required due dates. The Montana state WIOA partners have agreed to start meeting in early February to begin our Unified Plan regardless of the lack of regulation release. The common belief is that we need to get started.

I will keep you posted as I receive information.

Margaret Bowles,
Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

WIOA Notice

Q.  When will the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Notice of Proposed Rulemaking be published?

A.  The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted July 22, 2014, provides many opportunities to advance a customer-centered workforce investment system driven by the needs of job seekers and employers, to support strong regional economies, and to provide individuals with pathways to the middle class and beyond.   

WIOA establishes an aggressive timeframe for the Departments of Labor and Education to publish a set of regulations for implementation.  The Departments continue to work diligently together to develop these regulations, informed in part by outreach to outside stakeholders, as appropriate.  While we continue to work toward completion of this important and complex proposal, the publication of the proposed regulations is currently anticipated to occur in Spring 2015, rather than January 18, 2015, as stipulated in WIOA.

In Spring 2015, the Departments of Labor and Education plan to concurrently publish five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to implement WIOA.  One of these will be a joint NPRM involving jointly administered activities including unified and combined state plans, performance, and aspects of the one-stop system.  Another NPRM will implement the remaining provisions of Title I and Title III that are administered by the Department of Labor. Three additional NPRMs involve Department of Education programs, including one implementing Title II Adult Education and Literacy and two implementing the Title IV Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 of WIOA.  These five NPRMs will be published in the Federal Register and posted on, where public comments can be submitted following publication.  The Departments of Labor and Education will analyze these public comments, and anticipate issuing Final Rules implementing WIOA in early 2016.

Because many provisions of WIOA go into effect July 1, 2015, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) also will issue operating guidance in Spring 2015 to support implementation.  In addition, ETA intends to issue targeted guidance documents in the Spring, accompanied by technical assistance activities.  Once issued, the guidance can be accessed at

To achieve successful implementation and the full vision of WIOA, ETA will continue to consult with the workforce system and strongly advises states and local areas to begin planning and taking action to prepare to implement WIOA immediately.  There are legislative and technical assistance tools currently available at that can support initial WIOA transitional activities. 

Click here  to access Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

6. Disabilities Discussion:  Snippets from Disabilities & Correctional Ed – A Special Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

Click here to read through the discussion:  Here are some snippets from the discussion.

Snippet #1

The numbers are national, but consistent with what we find in California. In California, we have over 60,000 inmates enrolled in some form of school inside state prison. Over 50% do not read at the 9th grade level. For those who qualify for education (medical, security, need, etc...) they are mandatorily placed in an Adult Basic Education program to enhance their reading skills. As I visit the classrooms, I wonder how we could improve instruction using research based adult learning theory. If most of our students suffer from some form of learning disability, how can we improve our methodology? Why are we putting these students through the same thing they dropped out of when they were younger? Do we just take advantage of their "captivity" and try to force school upon them again, the the same way that failed them in the past? Some studies suggest that 75% of all incarcerated males are kinesthetic learners. If so... what would have happened to these folks if their education were more kinesthetic when they were younger? How do you teach kinesthetic lessons in a prison classroom where both movement and space is limited?  Being captive is no excuse for poor instruction--better teaching improves public safety


Snippet #2

I have read the article "How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD". (At ) I currently teach inmates who have serious mental health conditions and I see this all the time. I have a young student right now who I believed had a classic case of ADHD. In fact, in his IEP we wrote goals to increase his on-task behavior through Functional Behavioral Assessments. In only a few short months, this student has no problem whatsoever with attention and being on task in class. But I can't say that his behavior is necessarily better because of the evaluations. I believe he is better because he is in a safe classroom environment where his needs are being met. He does not have to have be hypervigilant and on his guard all the time. He feels comfortable taking risks in answering questions wrong and he enjoys what he is learning. This article made me think of this student and made me wonder whether or not he really has ADHD or whether he just feels threatened all the time


Snippet #3

Maintaining rigor no matter what a students ability and looking at root cause analysis of the learning breakdown/teaching breakdown that does not allow a student to be successful in the general education are essential PD opportunities. 

Rigor is essential for adult learners. Their academic literacy may be low but not their real world literacy. Our standard of education must remain high for each student. We need to be mindful of the zone of proximal development (ZPD)to push students within the area that challenges them but does not alienate them. Also, we can not give an emergent adult reader a book with butterflies and stars. We need to respect the fact that many of them have families and some own businesses. We have to meld their real life experiences and allow them to see themselves in the curriculum we create. 


7. Employability Skills Framework Webinars Now Archived

Taken from LINCS Notice

In case you missed the Implementing the Employability Skills Framework in the Adult Basic Education Classroom webinar held on December 3, 2014, the webinar archive is now available on the LINCS YouTube Channel. The webinar has been archived in four parts:

·        Part I: Introduction to the Employability Skills Framework

·        Part II: Employability Skills, CCR Standards, and Literacy

·        Part III: Employability Skills, CCR Standards, and Mathematics

·        Part IV: North Carolina's Employability Skills Toolkit

To access the full playlist, visit:  

The LINCS Community Team

8. ESOL:  Webinar – Program Models and Resources for Serving English Language Learners

Taken from LINCS Notice

Friday, January 30th, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST

This webinar will explore major shifts for the field of ESOL and adult education named in the WIOA legislation: 1) the need to prepare English Language Learners for unsubsidized employment in in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency; 2) focus on integrating instruction and other services with the local workforce development system. This webinar will be a practitioner-led dialogue designed for you to consider what these shifts mean for program design and classroom practice. Learn about successful program models and practices for working with high beginning to advanced level English Language Learners.

The WIOA: What Now? Practice and Policy Webinar Series is co-sponsored by the National College Transition Network/World Education and LaGuardia Community College/CUNY.

John Hunt is the Acting Executive Director for Adult Community Learning in the Division of Adult and Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) in Queens, New York, the most diverse county in the US, where he oversees a variety of adult education programs in ESOL, high school equivalency, integrated workforce development, remedial education, and skilled immigrant career pathways, including the NYC Welcome Back Center for immigrant healthcare professionals. Through LaGuardia's Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET), he has developed courses contextualized around civic and parent engagement, immigrant family literacy, DACA immigrant youth, and workforce development. He previously taught in Japan, Spain (International House) and New York and holds the Cambridge DELTA teaching diploma, along with degrees from Vassar College, NYU, and Baruch's School of Public Affairs. He has presented on such topics as integrated ESOL and career pathways models ("NY-BEST"), immigrant parent engagement and college awareness, and skilled immigrant career advisement via the Welcome Back Initiative model. He is a Blue Ribbon Panel member of the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE) and a Steering Committee member of the NYC Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL).

With more than 30 years of experience in adult education, Silja Kallenbach has worked as an administrator, professional development provider, and program developer, researcher, and teacher. Silja has worked for World Education since 1994 and currently oversees World Education's portfolio of work and leads program development in the U.S as the Vice President of the U.S. Division. Some of the projects that Silja has helped to design, secured funding for, and worked on include: Networks for Integrating New Americans, the National College Transition Network, the New England Learner Persistence Project, and the Adult Multiple Intelligences Study. From 1994 to 2011, Silja served as the director of the New England Literacy Resource Center at World Education. 


9. GED® Completion Rates Discussion Continues:  Another Snippet

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Nearly 500,000 Fewer Americans Will Pass the GED in 2014 After a Major Overhaul to the Test. Why? And Who's Left Behind? By Daniel McGraw  Click here to read the article:

An interesting discussion continues on LINCS at  You may want to read some of the most current snippets.  You may want to click on the last two week’s MTLINCS postings at and to read other snippets.

                              Snippet #1

Teaching Higher Level Material

I am interested in the implication here that some of the drop in completion rates may be in part because the instructors are struggling to teach the new material. As a GED instructor, I know firsthand that this new test has presented a steep learning curve to teachers--even a year later, I am still working hard to adapt my teaching to the new test. I am alternately overwhelmed by everything I have to teach my students to do and excited by the higher level of work that they can accomplish.

As the difficulty of the test has increased, there has been a corresponding increase in the difficulty of teaching students who are preparing for the test. We have to become more familiar with a wider array of topics, and we have to learn material well enough to teach it. We are also still getting a feel for the relative importance of different skills. It's possible that as teachers gain experience, there will be a rise in our success rates. It's also possible that, due to factors like the ones Kathy cited (cost, length, content knowledge), we won't ever fully regain the ground we lost.

As far as I can see, the biggest challenge is simply time. It takes a student more time to prepare for a harder test. Many of our students have limited time to devote to education. There will be more of them who simply don't have the time they would need in order to succeed. Can that gap be narrowed by effective teaching? Probably. Can it be closed? That remains to be seen.

10. Professional Development Discussion:  What’s Happening in State Professional Development

Taken from LINCS Notice

This week begins a series of expert-led webinar events on What’s Happening in State Professional Development. Join us for these focused examinations of what different states are doing in adult literacy professional development.

Featured presenters will share their work, explore successes and challenges, and dive into pressing issues in supporting basic skills educators need to effectively deliver quality instruction.

Save the date for these informative, expert-led events:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 3 p.m. EDT: What’s Happening in State Professional Development Part 1, hosted by the Evidence-Based Professional Development (EBPD) group. Register now!

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. EDT: What’s Happening in State Professional Development Part 2, hosted by the Evidence-based Professional Development group. Register now!

These webinars will be hosted by EBPD SME Jackie Taylor, and presented by state representatives. We hope you will join us for both of these events!

The LINCS Community Team

11. Reading:  Snippets Continue from Book Study on Reading for Understanding - How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms

Taken from LINCS Assessment

Have you had a chance to follow the discussion about Reading Apprenticeship?  If not, click here to join the Reading Apprenticeship micro group.  See snippets below of the conversations that are occurring.  Other snippets have been posted  in last week's MTLINCS: 

Snippet #1

On sharing reading history and interests...

I want to second Holly's comments about intentionally allowing time and space for students to share their reading history and interests.

I love that the opportunity to share reading history and interests allows the classroom to be student-centered. I think it also highlights the idea that our relationship with reading began a long time ago, and we need to acknowledge the good and bad in that relationship to move forward.  Once I started including reading history surveys and student interviews, the level of understanding and compassion increased amongst everyone (teacher included), and created a much richer classroom environment. This is huge for breaking down - or at least softening - some barriers students may have to improving their reading skills.

Snippet #2

Another similarity is letting the student know it is okay if they are confused or do not understand what they do not know or are reading. I always assure my students that (we) are all learning together. I try to make them understand that it is okay to ask questions when they do not know as well. Sometimes, the adult learners are embarrassed because of their age, to ask questions and not because of looking a certain way in front of their peers, but because they feel they should know certain things at their age. 


Snippet #3

Quote on page 68 – “Confusion is the perfect starting place for learning.”

This is a great example of how the RA strategies shift thinking away from the idea that if you don’t “get it”, you’re stupid. Students can now embrace confusion as a way of pinpointing a place of growth in their learning.

This quote above from page 68 goes along with the line on page 70, “It’s important to know what you don’t know”. I’ve heard this idea described as the first step on the path to wisdom.

I’ve found that once students can accept that it’s not only okay to be confused, it is necessary, they can move forward more easily. A good example is introducing vocabulary in context, when students have to use context clues to guess the meaning of the word …

12. Standards:  New Resources for CCR Standards-based Professional Development

Taken from LINCS Notice

New professional development materials are now available to support your effective implementation of college and career readiness (CCR) standards. There are eight professional development units—four for English language arts/literacy and four for mathematics.  Each replicates a key activity offered during the CCR Standards Implementation Institutes, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in 2014. 

The units revolve around the key instructional advances that identify the most significant parts of the CCR Standards for Adult Education.  So crucial to preparing adult students for postsecondary success! 

•    A facilitator’s guide, participant materials, and an annotated PowerPoint presentation are provided for each unit.  Sample training agendas are also included.

To access these new resources visit the CCR Standards Project page or the LINCS Resource Collection. Be sure to share these CCR standards-based resources with your adult education program staff and interested colleagues.

The LINCS Community

13. Writing:  Teaching Writing by Using Online Videos

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

One suggestion -- for building your own lessons, not for a set of existing adult ed lesson plans -- is online video presentations teaching writing that are suitable for adult learners. I wouldn't describe the videos I have seen as exceptional, highly engaging, or brilliantly produced; however, most are clear, short, and might offer ways in which students who are having trouble with certain writing challenges could get a different perspective. A couple of years ago I worked with a group of adult secondary education writing teachers from around the country to put together a list of these writing videos and video sites. You will find it at If you are interested, the same group also reviewed some of the videos. You will find their reviews at

David J. Rosen

 P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!

Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101